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Harassed on the job: Providing evidence of harassment

If you have ever been a victim of harassment, you know how devastating it is to your life. It doesn't just stay at work. Instead, it begins to seep over into other parts of your life.

For people who are victims of harassment, the law can provide assistance. However, there's a catch. You'll need to show that you reported the incident to your employer in most cases and must have evidence of some kind. Witness testimonies, digital documents and even videos go a long way to help your case.

What kinds of evidence should you have to prove harassment?

There are many things you can use to prove harassment took place in the workplace. You may want to keep copies of any reports you make to the Human Resources department or complaints you make to your employer. If you send emails instead of using a paper copy, make sure to save the email for your attorney.

You should also keep the responses to your complaints. For example, if the Human Resources department gives you an acknowledgement of receiving your complaint, that helps you later prove that you did try to take steps to resolve the problem without going to court.

Other pieces of evidence you may want to keep include:

  • Text messages harassing you
  • Written notes or documents with harassing comments
  • Witness statements or emails
  • Videos, photographs or other visual evidence of harassment in the workplace.

Remember not to store this information on your computer at work or in the workplace. If you do, you could find that the evidence "disappears" once your harasser knows you've filed a report.

What can you do if you're being harassed at work?

The first thing you need to know is that you have a right to work in a safe environment. If your employer takes no steps to resolve your complaints, then you may not have to go to work and your employer could be held liable for failing to resolve the situation.

Normally, the first step you take after a harassing incident is to either talk to the person who said or did something harassing or to turn to a superior for assistance. If it is your superior who is doing the harassing, then you may need to turn to Human Resources or directly to the court, depending on the set up of your company. It's in your best interests to begin the process as soon as possible, so you don't have to put up with danger in the workplace.

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